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Bantry House, Bantry, County Cork
20911812
North-west elevations
Reg. No.20911812
Date1705 - 1715
Previous NameN/A
TownlandSEAFIELD
CountyCounty Cork
Coordinates98686, 48145
Categories of Special InterestARCHITECTURAL ARTISTIC HISTORICAL SOCIAL
RatingNational
Original Usecountry house
In Use Ascountry house
 
Description
Detached five-bay two-storey country house over basement, built c.1710, with later six-bay two-storey bow-ended additions over basement, built 1820, to east and west and later six-bay two-storey addition over basement with pair of four-bay three-storey bow-ended wings, built 1845, to south. Later porticos to east and west elevations. Hipped slate roofs with rendered chimneystacks, parapet, stone balustrade and cast-iron rainwater goods with lead guttering. Rubble stone, roughcast rendered (1820 addition) and lined-and-ruled rendered (south elevation) walls with string course and red brick pilasters having carved stone bases and Corinthian capitals. Square-headed openings to original block with four-over-two timber sliding sash and timber glazed French windows, tooled stone sills and red brick block-and-start surrounds and relieving arches. Camber-headed openings to 1820 addition with nine-over-nine and six-over-six timber sliding sash windows and one-over-one and two-over-two replacement timber sliding sash windows having stone sills and red brick block-and-start surrounds and relieving arches. Camber and square-headed openings to 1845 extension with six-over-six and nine-over-nine timber sliding sash windows and replacement awning windows having stone sills, red brick block-and-start surrounds and relieving arches, timber panelling and shutters. Camber and square-headed service door openings with timber battened doors and replacement timber glazed and uPVC doors with overlights. Square-headed door opening with replacement timber glazed French doors having overlights, sidelights, timber pilasters, consoles and entablature. Accessed by cast-iron and timber flight of steps with railing. Portico to east elevation with six Corinthian-Tuscan orders having crocket capitals and supporting an entablature with ridge moulded architrave, plain frieze, cornice and modillions. Round and square-headed openings with fixed pane windows and round-headed door opening with double-leaf timber glazed door. Similar portico to west elevation with seven Corinthian-Tuscan orders having crocket capitals and supporting an entablature with ridge moulded architrave, plain frieze, cornice and modillions, and a stone balustrade. Located within extensive terraced formal Italian gardens having carved stone balustrade and garden furniture including cast-iron gazebo, decorated fountains, Greco-style statuary, ashlar archway and limestone steps.

Appraisal

Bantry House dominates the landscape on the southern shore of Bantry Bay with commanding views of Whiddy Island and the Caha Mountains. The house was first built on this site by the Hutchinson family in the early eighteenth century and since then has grown considerably, particularly under Richard White, 2nd Earl of Bantry in the mid-nineteenth century. Despite the many phases of additions and extensions, the structure displays architectural unity through the pilasters and stone balustrade. The original structure displays a Queen Anne style with later Georgian and Victorian elements also present. The architectural designs of the phased construction draw classical architecture, exhibited in its ornate porticos, columns and pilasters. The retention of original features enhances the buildings appearance with each element working together to give a greater architectural significance to the building. The interior retains much fabric of great interest and significance, including Pompeii tiling, Venetian glass and Italian plasterwork. The building is an outstanding example of the evolution of large country houses through time and its forms part of an interesting complex of demesne related structures with the outbuildings, gate lodges and extensively landscaped gardens.
 
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